Whenever we're cooking we try to involve Sophie in the process, to give her not only an understanding of how food comes to be on our table at dinner time, but also to give her a sense of "ownership" regarding the meal. If she's had a hand in making something she's more likely to want to taste it - it's our subtle way of encouraging her to try new things. Today we're making two pots of chili, and Sophie did a great job helping with the preparation. She washed the peppers, poured the oil in the pots, and filled her own chili pot with the selection of ingredients she thought would taste the best (naturally she skipped the onion and jalapeno peppers). I let her fill the pots on the stove before turning any of the burners on and then "excused her" from kitchen duty when things started to heat up. To show her the difference between how the chili looks at the beginning of the cooking process and the end I've been lifting her up in my arms so we can stand at a safe distance from the stove and talk about how much vegetable broth has been absorbed by the beans, and why. It's a great learning experience that should conclude tastily at dinner time!